Late Surge Dooms Goucher Men's Basketball In Loss To Juniata

Late Surge Dooms Goucher Men's Basketball In Loss To Juniata

TOWSON, Md. – Goucher College drops a 62-49 decision to Juniata College in Landmark Conference men's basketball action on Wednesday.

Dwayne Morton (Waynesville, Mo./Waynesville) powered the Gophers with 13 points and eight rebounds. The junior has scored double figures in four-straight games, seven of his last eight and 11 times on the year. Morton hauled in a Gopher career-high eight boards and has grabbed at least five boards eight times, including three of his last four tilts. The junior leads the team with 13.3 points per game.

Devon Esslinger (Las Cruces, N.M./Las Cruces) added 10 points and six rebounds. Making his 2018-19 debut, the sophomore reached double figures for the third time in his career, just missing his career high of 11 points set against Washington College on Nov. 19, 2017. He grabbed at least five rebounds for the ninth time in his career after reaching the mark eight times last season. The sophomore started 22 of the 24 games in 2017-18 and now has 100 points and 98 rebounds in his career.

Powered by four points by Esslinger, the Gophers jumped out to a 13-5 lead seven minutes and 11 seconds into the game. Goucher maintained the lead until the Eagles tied the game at 13 with 6:07 on the clock. Pat Goralski (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) scored consecutive baskets to give the Gophers a 17-14 lead with 3:37 left in the half. After Juniata took its first lead, Morton scored the final four points to give the Towson program a 21-18 lead at the break. The junior made the backend of two charity tosses with 50 seconds left and then drained a trey with 19 ticks left in the stanza.

Cameron Isaacs (Owings Mills, Md./Randallstown) opened the scoring in the second half with a jumper to extend the edge to 23-18 with 19:34 left. Goucher controlled the lead including a 30-26 advantage after a Morton free throw with 15:16 left.

The Eagles then went on a 9-0 run to take a 35-30 lead with 12:09 remaining. The Gophers answered with a 6-1 spurt to tie the game at 36 midway through the second half. Morton, Esslinger and Montaz McCray (Baltimore, Md./Chapelgate Christian Academy) each had a bucket in the run. Goucher would take the lead one last time thanks to a pair of McCray free throws and an Isaacs basket at 8:42 for a 40-38 edge.

Juniata then rolled off the next 12 points and went on for the victory.

Issacs chipped in eight points in the loss.

Goucher returns to action on Saturday at the Decker Sports and Recreation Center against Morivian College. Tipoff is 4 p.m.